The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 405 

7He cried out and roared, afflicted with terrible pain for two days, and unveiled his unbelieving heart to all. He declared that he believed that the sacred stigmata were truly in Saint Francis, and swore to affirm that all shadow of doubt was gone. He humbly prayed the holy one of God Mk 1:24 to come to his aid through his sacred stigmata, and he seasoned his many prayers with the sacrifice of tears.

Amazing! His unbelief discarded, bodily healing followed the healing of the spirit: all the pain calmed, the fever cooled, and no sign of the wound remained. He became a man humble before God, devoted to the saint, and subject in lasting friendship to the brothers of the Order.

The miraculous nature of this incident was attested by a signed oath, fully corroborated by the bishop of the place. In all things, blessed be the wonderful potency of God, which in the city of Potenza He magnificently demonstrated!a

8It is the custom of noble Roman matrons, whether widowed or married, especially those whose wealth preserves the privilege of generosity, and on whom Christ pours out his love, to have in their own homes small chambers or a bedroom set apart for prayer. There they would have some painted icon, and the image of the saint they especially venerated.

A certain ladyb of upright life and noble family chose Saint Francis for her advocate. She had his image in the secluded chamber, where she prayed to the Father in secret. Mt 6:6 One day while she was praying devoutly, her eyes searched intently for those sacred signs, but could not find them at all: she was sad and very surprised. No wonder they were not in the painting: the painter left them out! For several days the woman kept this in her heart Lk 2:51 and told no one. Often she gazed at the image, and always with sadness. Suddenly, one day those wonderful signs appeared in the hands, just as they are usually painted in other images. Divine power supplied what human art had neglected.

9The woman was shaken, astonished, and quickly called her daughter, who followed her mother in a holy way of life. The mother showed her what had happened, inquiring diligently whether she had seen the image before then without the stigmata. The daughter affirmed and swore that before it was without the stigmata, but now truly appeared with the stigmata.

But since the human mind sometimes stumbles over itself, and calls the truth into doubt, harmful doubts again entered the




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 405